Also available directly on Yahoo: http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/life/5-ways-to-save-on-easter-2474730 Time to start planning for Easter. It really is a wonderful holiday, and our desire to make it beautiful is completely understandable, but those gorgeous touches (from clothes to dcor to candy) can add up quickly. Thankfully, some easy tips can create a holiday thats not only lovely, but light on your pocketbook as well. THE CLOTHES Easter is one of those holidays where dressing up takes on an art form, the more colorful the better. Come on, its the only day of the year where pastel suits are not only fashionable, theyre a given, and its time to have some fun here. When it comes to kids clothing, hit Craigslist and your local meticulously-run consignment and thrift stores. Youll be amazed at the selection of childrens boutique-quality Easter dresses and suits awaiting you in perfect condition, often for 90% off the original price. As for the adults, if youre looking to freshen up your Easter wardrobe this year, go for it! Hit those same tonsignment stores and thrift stores for gorgeous designer suits, new shoes and bags to match. Ladies: dont you dare forget the hat! Related: How to Save with Coupons Without Going to the 'Extreme' THE EASTER BASKETS Im one of those moms that naively dives headfirst into every Easter determined that this is the year I keep the candy baskets small, tasteful and relatively healthy. Come Easter morning, those lofty goals are hip-checked out of the park and replaced with a sugar-induced blur of pastel M&Ms, coconut eggs and Peeps in all colors. Anyhoo heck, its just once a year. If you know thyself well enough to realize a well-stocked Easter basket is going to be an expected part of the holiday, head to your local dollar store, where a fabulous selection of name brand sweets, treats and beautiful straw Easter baskets await you, often for a fraction of retail prices. THE MEAL Everybody wants to throw a spectacular Easter meal for friends and family. Likewise, guests coming to see you are going to want to bring something thoughtful (and helpful) to your home as a hostess gift. Satisfy both of these goals by letting each guest bring their specialties! If youre baking a ham for dinner, have one guest bring their world-famous sweet potatoes. If another friend just gleefully told you about her garden bursting into springtime bloom, warmly congratulate and inform her shes now in charge of the flowers. If one of your guests makes dreamy desserts, guess what she's encouraged to show up at the door with? Putting a meal around your table that is truly a creation of all the guests not only creates a fantastic atmosphere in which everyone feels theyve contributed, but it also brings down the costs and work substantially for you. Related: 5 Ways to Save on Gardening THE DECORATIONS If you have kids, decorating the house for Easter is one of the biggest joys of the holiday. Keep it fun and inexpensive by hitting the most inexpensive stores around. Toy chicks, bunny cut-outs, wall hangings, cards, games, Easter-themed coloring books, pictures chances are excellent your local dollar store has it all. The dcor is adorable, affordable, and often sturdy enough to be carefully put away to be used again next year. You cant go wrong. THE FLOWERS Easter flowers, just starting to bloom, make a charming, lovely gift for family and friends. While some roadside stands en route to Easter dinner may seem like godsends for time-pressed travelers, one look at the price can have you rethinking a gift at all. Do yourself a favor and hit the produce section of your local warehouse store, as they often carry a fantastic selection of flowers year round. The potted azalea that would have cost you $40 on the corner of Costly & Costlier should price $15 or less at your favorite warehouse store. Use part of the money saved to splurge on some melons, grapes and pineapple as well, and whip up a gorgeous pastel-inspired fruit salad to ring in the holiday. Bon Appetit, and Happy Easter, everyone!
Originally published on July 27, 2011 by SpeakerMatch Speakers Bureau